David Kay, Who Debunked Presence Of WMDs In Iraq, Has Died

"It turns out we were all wrong," David Kay said in his bombshell 2004 testimony.

David Kay, the weapons inspector who disproved the United States’ main rationale for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, died earlier this month, his wife told The Washington Post and New York Times.

He died from cancer on Aug. 13 at the age of 82, said his wife, Anita Kay.

Kay was a prominent figure in the early 2000s for his role searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He ultimately resigned when he concluded the weapons stockpiles simply did not exist.

“We were almost all wrong, and I certainly include myself here,” Kay said in bombshell testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2004. “It turns out we were all wrong, probably in my judgment, and that is most disturbing.”

The CIA tapped Kay, who’d already surveyed Iraq for weapons in the 1990s, to lead the search for WMDs there after President George W. Bush’s administration said it had evidence the country was stockpiling weapons. That supposed stockpile was Bush’s main justification for invading Iraq following the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda Islamist militants.

By 2004, Kay concluded that CIA intelligence about the weapons had been faulty and that it was extremely unlikely any WMDs would be found in Iraq.

He resigned from his position and told Bush that despite his findings, he still supported the invasion. He made similar comments before the Senate Armed Services Committee, saying it was reasonable that Bush’s administration came to its conclusion about WMDs based on the evidence it had, but that the reality on the ground had been different.

Bush’s administration publicly downplayed Kay’s findings and insisted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein may have smuggled weapons or that he was preparing to build up a WMD stockpile.

Bob Drogin, a journalist who wrote a 2007 book about the faulty intelligence and Kay’s endeavor, told the Post that he “always saw David as a heroic but tragic figure.”

“He publicly admitted that all the experts, including himself, had been wrong on Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction,” Drogin wrote to the Post upon Kay’s death. “The CIA and the Bush White House could not forgive him for that. He became an outcast for speaking truth to power.”

The Iraq War ultimately led to at least 100,000 Iraqi civilian deaths and more than 4,000 U.S. military deaths. The total cost of the war to the U.S. economy has topped $2 trillion, and its financial effects are expected to continue for decades. No weapons of mass destruction were ever found in Iraq.

Popular in the Community